Friday, October 12, 2018

John, Chapter 15, Verse 17-19
17 This I command you: love one another. 18 “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.

Rejoice if you love and no one loves you in return; for He has chosen you! Yet, there is also the danger that you may have so much love for yourself: that there is no room to love anyone, but yourself, and people are avoiding you out of respect for the love affair you have with yourself. Remember the story of the Grinch are you more like the Grinch or Cindy Lou Who.

The model of love for all true discipleship is extreme, limitless life for your friends as Jesus modeled, the price of discipleship will be high. Just as Christ was hated so it will be for those of us who follow Him. You will be hated, persecuted, unaccepted. Yet, know that the deep-down crime is that the secular world, the culture of death, has seen the evidence and refused to believe. Jesus has spoken to them, he has performed works never done before and they really know nothing about the Father who sent Jesus and in hating Him they hate the Father also.[1]

Who are hypocrites? Those who, in order to deceive their neighbors, show themselves outwardly pious, while within they are full of evil dispositions and malice; who have honey on the tongue, but gall in the heart; who, like scorpions, sting when one least expects it. Such men are cursed by God (Mai. i. 14).  The Lord hateth a mouth with a double tongue (Prov. viii. 13). “Assumed sanctity, says St. Jerome, “is a double maliciousness.”[2]

Sounds like career Politician’s to me. Yet, this too shall pass love endureth all things.

Amoris Lætitia[3] Love in Marriage; Love endures all things (118-119)

Love bears every trial with a positive attitude. It stands firm in hostile surroundings. This “endurance” involves not only the ability to tolerate certain aggravations, but something greater: a constant readiness to confront any challenge. It is a love that never gives up, even in the darkest hour. It shows a certain dogged heroism, a power to resist every negative current, an irrepressible commitment to goodness. Here I think of the words of Martin Luther King, “The person who hates you most has some good in him; even the nation that hates you most has some good in it; even the race that hates you most has some good in it. And when you come to the point that you look in the face of every man and see deep down within him what religion calls ‘the image of God’, you begin to love him in spite of [everything]. No matter what he does, you see God’s image there. There is an element of goodness that he can never sluff off… Another way that you love your enemy is this: when the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it… When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system… Hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. If I hit you and you hit me and I hit you back and you hit me back and so on, you see, that goes on ad infinitum. It just never ends. Somewhere somebody must have a little sense, and that’s the strong person. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil… Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love”.  In family life, we need to cultivate that strength of love which can help us fight every evil threatening it. Love does not yield to resentment, scorn for others or the desire to hurt or to gain some advantage. The Christian ideal, especially in families, is a love that never gives up. I am sometimes amazed to see men or women who have had to separate from their spouse for their own protection, yet, because of their enduring conjugal love, still try to help them, even by enlisting others, in their moments of illness, suffering or trial. Here too we see a love that never gives up.

Fitness Friday-Sleeping Workout

Recognizing that God, the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength; mind, soul and heart.

Having trouble sleeping? Try some light catholic reading.

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of the past centuries.”  This quote is by the famous philosopher Descartes.  Although I am not a fan of everything Descartes has to say, I don’t think he’s too far off here.  Reading a good book by a good author is indeed like having a conversation with them.  By reading their book you’re looking into their mind, experiencing their world, and learning their wisdom. In my opinion there are no greater people to have “conversations” with through their writing than Catholic saints.  Catholic saints have written some of the most beautiful literature which inspires, educates, encourages, and informs us how to live a holy and happy life.  Here is a list of ten classic Catholic books which any and every Catholic should read at some point in their life.

*If you’re not much of a reader, or if you don’t have much free time to pick up a book, many of these classic Catholic books have audio book versions.

·         The Imitation of Christ by St. Thomas a Kempis
·         Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska
·         Dark Night of the Soul ­by St. John of the Cross
·         The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila
·         The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux
·         An Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales
·         City of God by St. Augustine
·         Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas
·         The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila
·         The Confessions by St. Augustine

As you can tell, this list of great Catholic books by wonderful Catholic saints is in no particular order.  These are just 10 of the many Catholic books written by wonderful saints who have so much timeless wisdom to share.  Who wouldn’t want to have a conversation with any of these wonderful saints?  What books would you add to this list of classic Catholic books?  What does your favorite classic Catholic books list look like?

The Way[4]

"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."

99.  I well understand you when you write: 'Every day I do my "few minutes" of prayer; if it weren't for that!'

Daily Devotions

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Total Consecration Day 32

[1] The Collegeville Bible Commentary
[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
[3] Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.


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